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Wednesday round-up

With the year winding down, commentators and Court watchers focus on cases scheduled for argument in 2012, as well as those recently argued in 2011.  At this blog, Ronald Mann previews Kappos v. Hyatt, in which the Court will consider whether an inventor who is appealing the Patent and Trademark Office’s denial of a patent application may introduce new evidence in court that he could have presented to the Patent Office.  Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy also weighs in on the case, suggesting that “the key to understanding Hyatt is recognizing that the regulatory model used by the patent system predates the administrative state.”

At Forbes, Daniel Fisher discusses Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, in which the Court is scheduled to decide whether corporations may be liable for violations of the law of nations under the Alien Tort Statute.  He observes that “[t]he stakes are huge for corporations, which theoretically could be held liable for any actions of the government in nations where the do business, pay taxes, and rely on local forces to protect their assets.”  The editorial board at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reviews the issues and elections potentially at stake in the upcoming Texas redistricting case, slated for argument on January 9, and concludes that the “new schedule is like a domino structure.”  And at PrawfsBlawg, Michael Risch analyzes the recently argued case, Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., in which the Court is considering whether the correlation between blood test results and patient health is patentable; Risch notes that “[t]he case will hopefully provide some guidance on the patenting of medical diagnostics, but because the patent suffers from some real drawbacks, I’m not so sure.”


  • At Sentencing Law and Policy, Douglas Berman observes that the Court has scheduled oral argument for its Sixth Amendment Apprendi fines case, Southern Union Company v. United States, and its two Eighth Amendment juvenile life-without-parole cases, Miller v. Alabamaand Jackson v. Hobbs, for the week prior to the health care litigation.  “[T]hese constitutional criminal law and procedure cases will provide a notable tingler for the constitutional taste buds to prepare the Justices for the health care fight to follow,” Berman writes.
  • At Slate, John Paul Rollert discusses Justice Sotomayor’s lone dissent in last Term’s United States v. Jicarilla Apache Nation.  “Look closely,” he writes, “and you can see what worries her most.”


Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 21, 2011, 10:11 AM),